Thursday, April 27, 2006

I don't know if this is a scam, a delaying tactic or just plain imcompetence. I sent my rebate forms in at the end of February a week after I bought my new computer. A week ago I got a notice that I needed to provide the serial number and model number for the printer. Then, a few days later, a notice that I needed to provide the same information for the PC and the monitor. These are the same numbers I sent in originally, along with the UPC number from the boxes. So, I've dutifully provided the numbers again and will have to wait an additional four to six weeks. I know. It's not about knitting. But it's bugging me just the same.

I'm feeling desperate to finish something. Something bigger than a hat or a scarf. So I've been working as much as I can on the blue beach coverup. I think I still have about eight rounds to go, each of which take from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on which stitch sequence I'm working. And then the neck band plus the fringe. What was I thinking? But it will look good and will reduce my stash by six or seven skeins. I'll probably take that with me tonight to knitting group since I can almost not have to pay attention to what I'm doing.

I have finished the back of the baby sweater and have started the front. I need to get this done by next Wednesday. I'm having problems with my left hand though. Working on small needles with cotton isn't helping. So I'm having to take more frequent breaks and am using some Traumeel gel that a friend gave me. Of course I haven't seen a doctor. She'll probably tell me it's just arthritis and I need to give up knitting.

Still waiting for the balance of the yarn to come in so I can finish the Circles bag that I'm making as a shop sample. The supplier said that they just put in what they were told. I know a couple of people who are making the same bag so I've asked them to let me know if they run short. I'm betting they will.

A really busy day for me at Skein yesterday. Not a record breaker but still ten students is a lot more than I've been having recently. Maybe the wintery weather we've been having is helping.

So that's all the news that's fit to blog. I have errands to do today so I'd better get started.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Due to the dearth of knitting news, the paucity, the anti-plethora, there is almost nothing to say today. I'm about halfway through the back of the baby sweater, all seed stitch, I worked about 36 rows on the magenta sweater I'm knitting for Dulaan and I'm about ready to decrease for the finger tips on the first mitten. That's about it.

I did have to go somewhere this morning and that took about four hours of knitting time. It was time for my "full-body check" at the dermatologist's. That means a trip into Hollywood to the flagship of Kaiser, right next door practically to the headquarters of Scientology, also known as the flagship. I spent about five minutes with the doctor and the rest was driving and waiting room. I took a book.

I think maybe I need to get out more often. I drove down Union Ave., the street I used to take to work everyday. I would not have known where I was if someone had just planted me on that street. Most of the familiar landmarks are gone and have been replaced by multi-level condos and apartments. Nothing but plaster and concrete. And very expensive from what I hear. Maybe I don't want to go out after all.

Monday, April 24, 2006

This is all the knitting I did this weekend, except for the stuff I did while I was at Skein on Saturday. I've started a baby sweater and cap ensemble that is for the soon to be born son of one of my regular students. I'm using Mission Falls 1824 Cotton that I ordered from a shop in South Carolina.

The pattern I was originally going to make, even though it used this yarn, was just not looking good when I actually started it. So I'm making a different pattern, from the same book, Wee Knits. I haven't made a lot of stuff for babies, newborn or otherwise, so I'm hoping the designer knew what she was doing when it comes to the sizing.

And here's the annual amaryllis shot. The blossoms are so big and heavy that I had to hold this stem up in order to see the face of the blooms. I'm always amazed that this plant keeps performing. The original bulbs must be at least eight years old by now. Can't remember exactly which Christmas I got them. I think I'll cut this one and bring it inside so I can enjoy it.

We went to dinner at a Mexican karaoke place last night. I'd never heard of it either. This is the first karaoke place I've ever been to and it was a hoot. Partly because it was so different from the kind of restaurants we usually go to and partly because I got to have some chips and salsa. I've really been missing those but I've had my fix so I'll be okay for a while.

It's Dulaan knitting day so I'm off to get ready for that. More work on the magenta sweater and will maybe finish the first mitten of the pair I started last Monday.

Later the same day.

I couldn't get this to post this morning. I've been to Dulaan knitting and am home again. Let's see if it works this time.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The number of ladies and gentlemen sitting around the knitting table has been severely decimated, probably by the seasonably warm weather and Spring Break. I had only one student yesterday. I did see a few of my knitting friends who mostly came in to see the other knitting friends. It was enjoyable if not profitable.

We're meeting at a different venue this week for our Thursday night knitting group. Perhaps curiosity will motivate a few more people to attend. I still have to decide which project to take with me, probably the blue beach cover-up again as it's the most mindless thing I have going.

I got a couple of new books yesterday. Everyday Style by Carol Rasmussen Noble. She also wrote Lavish Lace along with Cheryl Potter of Cherry Tree Hill. I actually got this one for a friend who is constantly on the lookout for patterns with more generous sizing.

And, because I may have a new mania, mittens, I also purchased Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski. I already have her Andean Folk Knits. One of our fairly frequent customers fell in love with some mittens that another customer was wearing and requested the book so Ann Mary got some extra copies. I've only just started reading it. It's getting a little warm here to think about mittens and I don't really have the right weight yarns in my stash but I can read the book and think about what I might be doing come winter.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

No photos today and not much actual knitting content. I made a house call* last night. A friend of mine who is new to knitting asked me to come over to show her how to seam and to also interpret a pattern. It was excruciating! She's not real familiar with needle and thread so that was a challenge but she did a really nice job. The excruciating part was all on my side. The temptation to just take the sweater and sew it was severe. But I resisted. And I guess we're both better for that. She still had the second sleeve and the underarm/side seams to go but I think she'll be fine.

Speaking of excruciating, when is this walking thing going to get easier? I've had people who are in a position to know, assure me that it will get easier. They just don't know when. I added another block, which is uphill, to my walk this morning. I began to doubt if I'd make it home. Well, obviously I did. It's hard to describe how self-righteous I feel.

* House calls might be a good option. I get to keep all the money.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Yesterday was Dulaan Project Knitting Day. There were only three of us instead of the more usual six or seven. Still it was nice. Pepper pot soup for lunch with a delicious, low-cholesterol bundt cake for dessert. I finished the back of the magenta sweater and got most of the rib for the front done.

Since I've decided that I'll just knit on Dulaan projects on Mondays, and I had several hours before Monday was over, I started another pair of mittens. I'm using some of the Brown Sheep Nature Spun worsted that I got last December when Stitch in Time has their year end knitting yarn sale. Or I might have got this at Velona's. Anyway, I like the yarn a lot. I had the red left over from an earlier pair. The heathered grey will have plenty left over for another pair or maybe part of a hat.

I still find thumb/gusset joins to be awkward but I'm hoping with practice there will be some improvement. That's what happened when I first started making socks. Anyway, thumbs up.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Most of the students I work with on a frequent basis have heard about the Dulaan Project at least once. Some of them have been contributing hats. So here are some of the ones that have been volunteered.

Andy's Kidfinder hat. I think this is a hoot! The yarn is either Red Heart or Caron. The pattern is from Sally Melville's The Purl Stitch, the Canadian Hat.

This hat is knit in Sirdar's Snowflake. Have you ever tried to knit with that stuff? Just don't drop a stitch is all I can say. Bettie donated this hat partly because she was disappointed that the stitch pattern didn't show up. I could have told her that.

Jane made this hat using some yarn leftover from a sweater she knit for one of her niece's. It's Schaefer Elaine. She had the yarn left over because she had to buy another whole skein in order to finish the second sleeve.

And here's one I knit this weekend. Sam's Hat from Mission Falls book Wee Knits. I'm planning to make this one again using the Mission Falls cotton, if I can find it, and the sweater that goes with it. One of my students is having a baby in a few weeks so this will be for her new son.

And finally, a hat I made last week using the remains of a skein of Woolease and some of the multi-color Encore that I've been using in several of the hats. I still have two skeins of that. I'm really getting tired of it.

In other news. I talked to the diabetes educator today. She was very pleased with my latest set of glucose numbers. So, if I'm very good and continue with the diet and exercise program as set, I'll be able to avoid having to add yet another medication to my daily intake. I don't think I'd better have any more lemon meringue tarts for a while.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I guess it's a good thing I didn't start complaining about the heat yesterday, near 90F around here, because today it's back in the 60s and we're expecting more rain. Lisa took a picture of the hills north of my place when she was here last Sunday. It was nearly night. Today I can't even see those hills. (Actually I think they're the San Gabriel Mountains but they're kinda puny. There are some bigger mountains behind them but you can't see them except on really clear days.)

I didn't get to talk to the diabetes educator yesterday because she took a day of vacation. Have to call her back today and see if she's in. I really hate it when things don't go according to my plan.

Knitting night was good. A couple of people whom we haven't seen in weeks showed up. But a couple of regulars were missing. I worked on the blue beach cover-up for the entire time. I'm sorta thinking I'll limit my Dulaan knitting to one day a week. I have so many other projects that are lagging. I still have about five feet of i-cord to do for the Circles bag I'm making for Skein. I'll do some on that today and then maybe switch to some socks that I haven't touched in a couple of months. There are three or four pairs from which to choose.

I don't expect to be very busy today due to the holiday but you never know.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Okay. So it's not the most exciting hat you've ever seen. But it's cute, warm and the pattern is here.

I used some Encore and Classic Elite Le Gran Mohair for my version. Got it on sale at Unraveled a few weeks ago specifically to make this hat. A friend of mine has made several of these using Noro Kureyon and a finer mohair. They're denser than this one but really good looking. Ryan has several other patterns on her blog that she recommends for Dulaan knitting. Obviously you can use them for other things but they're so perfect for this project.

So, it's Thursday. One of my days off and the one I think I enjoy the most. I don't have to be anywhere until seven in the evening so I can really take my time, if I want to, to get stuff done. Play with Patrick, take a longer walk, get to the market and still have time for some knitting. I get to call my diabetes nurse this afternoon to give her the results of my last two weeks of glucose monitoring. I hope she's as pleased as I am. With only a couple of exceptions my numbers have been well within the acceptable range. Walking two miles a day has made the difference I think. Even if it does mean I have less time in the morning between blogging and getting to where I need to be.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The orange felted bowl and the wrist warmers that I mentioned a couple of days ago. Lisa sent me the photo. What a sweetie! Really the best daughter and friend anyone could have.

The wrist warmers are from a pattern that a friend gave me and is a design by another friend. It's available at Unraveled in Monrovia. I don't think it's on line. You have to go into the shop, which is a fun thing to do anyway.

The bowl is one of the patterns in One Skein by Leigh Radford, one of the most popular books around right now. I've made several things from that book and will be doing some others just as soon as I'm caught up with my Dulaan projects.

I did finish another hat last night but I'm out of time so no picture until tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'm working today. The regular Tuesday teacher has some business she needs to take care of. So I'll be there from about eleven until closing. I sure hope it's busier than it was last week. It was soooo sloooow! No one came in on Friday and only two students on Saturday. Saturday is usually really crazy.

But in all that down time I managed to finish the circles I've been making for the Circles Felted Bag. Well, actually, I just used all the yarn that came in the kit. I still need eight more rings. Ann Mary has called the supplier and left a message but no one has called back. So that project is on hold until I get more yarn.

I've started a couple of hats for the Dulaan project. I'll take them with me today just in case there's no traffic. We haven't taken an inventory yet but it looks like we'll have three large boxes of hats and sweaters to send to Flagstaff in mid June. I've recruited another member for our Monday group. Yesterday was his first day. It's difficult for most people to make it on Mondays but since he's a teacher he has this week off because of spring break.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Sometimes when I'm cleaning house it just becomes too overwhelming and I just have to stop and knit something. And that's what I did yesterday. I made some wrist warmers using some of the left over yarn from socks I made during the holiday knitting cycle. You'll have to take my word for it. They're really cute and Lisa liked them a whole lot. I just forgot to take a picture before they went off to live in their new home. I'll make some more.

The same thing happened with the felted bowl that one of my students made for me. Lisa liked it so much that it's also gone to live with her. And there's no picture of it. Maybe she'll send me one. Lisa, not the student.

This is one of the hats I knit a couple of weeks ago for the Dulaan project. I don't know exactly where I got the pattern but one of the Monday group was making one and I thought it was cute. It's two strands of worsted weight knit together. You make a long tube and then gather the two ends, insert one end into the the other and stitch them together. Very warm and cozy but I thought the top was too thick. Good protection, I suppose, in a hail storm. Do they have hail storms in Mongolia?

So I'm revising the hat. I knit half the length and then did a conventional decrease shaping at one end. Then I picked up stitches from the cast on end and am knitting in the opposite direction.

And here's the finished hat. I had some problems posting photos this morning so I went to my Monday Dulaan knitting group and finished the hat. I made this one a bit bigger than the first one. I think I like this version better but it is more trouble.

I've also started another sweater using the remaining magenta Galway. I'm about three cable repeats farther along than when I took this photo this morning and am almost to the armhole bind off. I used my Sweater Wizard to do the math and just added the cables where I wanted them.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Freshly finished! Just wove in the last of the ends and it's ready to go in the Dulaan drawer.

I really don't like to do finishing so I've been making raglans in the round using the charts from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. This is the third one I've done and I think I'm finally beginning to understand how the neck shaping works. It's not tricky. I was just reading too much into it.

I used some Galway yarn that I've had in stash for a long, long time. I still have seven hanks left so, if I have time, I'll make another sweater for Dulaan but I think I'll switch to a different format and just put up with the extra finishing. Maybe a modified drop shoulder pullover with some kind of pattern stitch.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I feel like I've been dragged through a knothole backwards, as my father used to say. I stayed up too late and got up way too early. My daughter surprised me last night with a surprise visit. She came over to stay until it was time to go and get in line to get tickets to hear Stephen Hawking who is speaking at Cal Tech this evening. In addition to adjusting to daylight savings time and the rain we're having I had to do laundry today. It's been a real blast, let me tell you.

After I dropped Lisa off at Cal Tech, at five in the morning, I came home and read blogs until it was time to pick her up. She got two tickets, one for her and one for her mom. I hope the rain stops by the time they have to go stand in line again to be admitted. I'm not going, even though I think it would be interesting. I just don't enjoy anything that involves crowds anymore.

Nothing new on the knitting front though. Still decreasing the raglan sweater. And trying not to lose my place.

Monday, April 03, 2006

If Dr. Seuss designed a sleeping cap for Superman it would probably look something like this. It's 100% acrylic, plus a bit of cat fur here and there. Absolutely no kryptonite. I tried it on. It'a too small for me so someone in Mongolia is going to be be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound if only to escape.

I've wanted to make a hat like this for a long time. I don't think I have enough of this yarn left to make another one but I know where they have more. I used a pattern from an OOP Mission Falls book as the basis. I made it flat and stitched it up so the stripes would match better than if I had tried to do the jogless job.

The pink Galway sweater has sleeves now and I'm working on the raglan decreases so that should be done sometime this week.

Thanks to everyone who left congratulations comments and sent emails on my Blogiversary. It's a real good, feel good sorta thing.